There are several relaxation techniques for anxiety that I can depend on to help me avoid the “fight or flight” response that’s often right around the corner. The following are my top 10 To Relax Your Mind in 5 Minutes or Less.
- Drink Tea. I love my tea. Love, love, love it! There is such a feeling of calm when I have a hot cup of tea in my hand. I’ve found that there are teas out there that are specifically designed to promote calmness. When you go to the grocery store, look for “calmness” or “sleepy time” on the box. I’ve also found that anything with chamomile is extremely relaxing! If you aren’t a tea drinker, try hot water with lemon. The warmth and taste are extremely soothing and definitely helps provide a sense of calm.
- Try Progressive Muscle Relaxation. The first time I visited a therapist she led me through a progressive relaxation exercise. I was skeptical at first, but in a matter of minutes, I was experiencing a euphoric sense of calm. The practice is quite simple: it’s a process of tensing and releasing certain muscle groups to relax them, which ends of relaxing your entire body. There are several apps that can guide you through progressive muscle relaxation.
- Repeat Mantras. An anxious person tends to tell themselves negative mantras 90 percent of the time. Instead, replace negative thoughts with positive mantras. If I start telling myself, “you’re calm” that actually does more harm than good. Instead, I tell myself mantras that channel my anxious energy into positive energy. If I start feeling a panic attack coming on, I repeat to myself, “Be excited. You’re going to rock it! Time to show them what you got.” I’m nervous – certainly not calm – so trying to tell myself to calm down won’t do any good whatsoever. The best thing to do is to embrace the anxiety and channel it in a positive direction.
- Listen to Uplifting Music. Music is a powerful anti-anxiety drug. Personally, the “calm” music doesn’t do anything for me. Instead, if I’m nervous I listen to my favorite music – Macklemore at the moment. It gives me an overall feeling of well-being. Just make sure to listen to music that makes you happy!
- Get Artistic. Over the holidays my mother-in-law introduced me to “coloring books.” First, let me clarify that coloring is not just for kids. It’s actually a great way for adults to relieve anxiety. Coloring, or any artistic endeavor for that matter, allow your mind to be completely present at the moment. You zone out and don’t worry about anything than coloring within the lines. Whether an art project or something else, try to find activities that keep you focused at the moment.
- Aromatherapy. Essential oils are a great tool for relieving anxiety. I have about 10 different essential oils on hand at any given time. Lavender is what’s known to work best for relieving anxiety. I’m also a big fan of spearmint and bergamot.
- Cuddle with a Pet. I have a chocolate lab, Leo, who is the best snuggler ever! Just a few minutes cuddling with my furball makes me feel loved and at ease. Snuggling with your pet causes cortisol levels drop, which is your body’s stress hormone. They also show unconditional love, which is exactly what we anxiety sufferers need.They don’t care if you aren’t perfect, or mess up every once in a while. They love and appreciate you for just being you!
- Call A Friend. If you’re starting to feel anxious, one of the best things you can do is call a friend you trust who can lend a rational perspective. It will also remind you that you have people who care about you, and you aren’t in this crazy thing called life alone.
- Watch a Funny YouTube Video. Sometimes a dose of laughter is exactly what we need. Just do a Google search for “funny YouTube videos” and take your pick.
- Reflect (on what you’re thankful for). Do you realize that if you’re able to visit a grocery store you are more fortunate than most of the population? We may not realize it, but we are extremely blessed. Trust that something bigger than yourself has provided for you so far, and trust that He will continue to do so.
I’d love to hear what quick relaxation techniques for anxiety work for you! Leave any extra tips in the comments section below.